February 17, 2009 - Simon Kenton High School's Jeff Marksberry was named the winner of the Marvin Lewis Coach of the Year Award presented by Baker Concrete. Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis presented Marksberry with the award at the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Banquet at the Hilton Netherland Plaza.
The award honors one of the Tri-State's best high school football coaches for their contributions on the field as well as their teaching skills, sportsmanship, dedication to their players and the community and commitment to education.
"Jeff is a great coach and mentor for his players at Simon Kenton," said Lewis. "He has turned the Pioneer football program around and made it a winner. He has done it by instilling values in his players and making them winners on the field and in the community."
During Marksberry's tenure at Simon Kenton, he has guided the Pioneers to four KHSAA state football playoff berths (2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008) after the school had qualified for the playoffs only once before in their history. This year, the Pioneers advanced to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 6A state championship game, and earned the school's first-ever state runner-up title, first-ever regional championship and first-ever state semifinal championship. In his 13 years at Simon Kenton, Coach Marksberry built a program, changing the culture of Simon Kenton football and making it a source of pride for the school and the Independence community.
Coach Marksberry became the winningest coach in Simon Kenton football history during the 2007 season and was named the Kentucky Football Coaches Association's Class 6A District 6 Coach of the Year that year. In 2008, he was named the Cincinnati Enquirer Coach of the Year and the Bluegrasspreps.com Kentucky Coach of the Year. He is an Ashland Inc. Teacher Achievement Award nominee (2003) and is listed in the Who's Who Among American Educators. He served Simon Kenton High School as Dean of Students (1998-2002), and currently serves as an English teacher and as the athletic director.
Coach Marksberry emphasizes more than just the game of football to his players. He utilizes the sport of football to teach life lessons, civic responsibility, and to develop his players into responsible young men. Through his commitment he empowers his student-athletes to excel and achieve their goals both on and off the field. He has implemented a philosophy for his team that teaches honest work ethic, trust and commitment.
Past recipients of the Marvin Lewis Coach of the Year Award are Kevin Siple (Indian Hill High School, 2007) Troy Everhart (Winton Woods High School, 2006), Mike Martin (Taft High School, 2005), Rodney Roberts (Springboro High School, 2004) and the inaugural winner, Steve Channell (Edgewood High School, 2003).
For more information about the Marvin Lewis Community Fund, visit marvinlewis.org.